This Photoshop tutorial will teach you how to transform a pencil sketch into a full-color piece of artwork entirely through the use of Photoshop.
Preview of Final Results
Halloween Artwork Photoshop Tutorial
For this project, you’ll need:
- A pencil sketch
- A scanner
- Some artistic understanding
- And a lot of patience
Part 1 – Prep
Firstly, let’s choose a pencil hand sketch that we want to color and open it in Photoshop. No part of this pencil sketch will be in the final image; it is entirely for reference purposes and we will be tracing and coloring over it.
Next let’s duplicate the sketch so it is on a new layer and its layer visibility can be turned off whenever we need to take a clear look at how the color drawing we will be doing on top of it is progressing. It helps to fill the background layer with a solid color because it will give a good juxtaposition makes the image on top of it more visible. Here I filled the background in with a dark blue color (#0A0E2B) because the setting of the final image will be nighttime therefore the background primarily dark blue.
If you notice, I also made the image a little wider so its borders won’t interfere with my drawing. I plan for the final image to be horizontal.
Part 2 – Subject
Now it’s time to start putting the subject—the witch—together. Let’s start with the clothes as they will be on the topmost layers and cover everything else such as her hair and her skin. The layers in this image will be a little tricky to order so let’s take it one step at a time. Let’s make a separate layer for the “Hat,” “Cloak,” “Gloves,” “Dress,” and “Stockings.”
Now we’ll fill in each these layers with a solid color according to the shape of each part of her outfit. First, we’ll take the pen tool (P) and draw a path along the outline of our subject’s clothing, making sure to keep each separate piece of clothing on a separate layer. Zoom in (Z) and be sure to pay attention to details like the folds of her clothing as well as which part of her clothing is hidden behind which other parts of her clothing.
Once we’re done the outline, right click and select “Fill Path…” and set the Feather Radius to 0.5 to fill in her hat, cloak, gloves, and stockings with a dark gray-blue color.
Fill in her dress with a dark orange color and we should be looking at something like this.
Let’s color in the rest of the image while we’re at it. Make separate layers for the “Pumpkin” that she is sitting on, “Skin,” “Hair,” “Candle,” “Candle Holder,” “Bangs,” and “Accessories.” You should now have a bunch of layers that look like this.
Be sure everything is in the correct order, such as her dress being over her body and her hat on top of everything else. Note that, since the setting is nighttime, our subject’s skin will be darker than usual and slightly bluish to reflect the night. Continue using the pen tool and we should be here.
Before we go further with coloring the rest of our subject, let’s draw in her face so we can begin to see the emotions that the final image will invoke. The face and facial expression of any human subject will make or break the mood of the finished piece so this part is especially important. First, let’s turn off the layers with her “Bangs” and her “Hair,” which somewhat cover her face in the final image, as well as her “Skin” layer so we can see the pencil outline that we scanned.